Ottawa police say a game driven by technology and the thrill of the hunt is starting to cause problems for the department after a badly placed prize launched a bomb scare at a south-end overpass last week.

Police say a prize left for geocachers was posted to a lamp post at the Hurdman overpass July 23, catching the attention of a member of the public who notified police about a suspicious package.

The Ottawa police tactical team and Ottawa fire and paramedic services were all on site for the investigation.

"We had paramedics, we had the Ottawa Fire Department HAZMAT team there, so we had lots and lots of resources there, some of them on overtime, but the more troubling aspect of it - this went on from noon until four o'clock," said Insp. Ty Cameron of the Ottawa police.

Cameron says those resources could have been spared if the person hiding the cache had used more common sense.

His message to geocachers: "Put it in a transparent container, something we can clearly see what the contents are."

Thousands of geocaches hidden in Ottawa

It is estimated there are more than 3,000 geocaches hidden throughout the Ottawa area. Despite last week's incident, Steve Hanes, an experienced geocacher, told CTV Ottawa run-ins with the police can be avoided if new caches brush up on some of the game's rules, including the one that states bridges are off-limits.

"There's a specific criteria where you cannot hide a cache and unfortunately one of them was this cache at Hurdman, on a bridge," he said.

"Typically, you want to stay away from places like that, especially ones that are so exposed to the public."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua